Joseph Smith started a school for men in the Church called the School of the Prophets. In a room in Newel Whitney’s store in Kirtland, Ohio, he taught the men about the priesthood and the scriptures.
While they were learning together, many of the men smoked pipes or cigars. The room was filled with smoke. Some men chewed tobacco, and the floor became dirty. The room always needed cleaning when the men went home.
Joseph wondered if men should smoke or chew tobacco. He prayed and asked God what was right.
In answer, the Lord told him that people should not use alcohol, tobacco, tea, or coffee. He said, “Strong drinks are not for the belly, … tobacco is not for the body, … hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” (D&C 89:7–9.) Joseph was told that fruits, vegetables, and grains are good for people to eat. He learned that people should not eat too much meat. (See D&C 89.)
The Lord told Joseph that if people would take only good things into their bodies, they would have good health, be wise, and be able to learn many things.
Joseph was happy to be able to teach the people of the Church about the things that they should and should not take into their bodies.
We can show respect, honor, and love for ourselves and Heavenly Father by refusing to ever use tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, or any harmful drugs. When we eat those things that are good for us, and give our bodies the right amount of exercise and sleep, we are showing reverence.
Find the hidden pictures of things that are good for your body: a loaf of bread, carrot, head of lettuce, sheaf of grain, roasted chicken, pie, bell pepper, peach, fish, steak, bean, pea pod, peanut, bunch of asparagus, strawberry, cucumber, squash, pineapple, carton of milk, pumpkin, tomato, muffin, slice of watermelon, banana, sandwich, half grapefruit, radish, plum, cracker, mushroom, pear, lemon, beet, pickle, an apple, ear of corn, egg, eggplant, olive, onion, celery, cherries, broccoli, and grapes. Now color the picture.
Divide Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–21 into phrases and write them on strips of paper. Tape the papers under some of the children’s chairs. Have the children search for the wordstrips, then read them, place them in order, and discuss their meaning.
Have the children draw pictures and make a booklet of things that the Lord has told us are good for us to eat.
Demonstrate some kind of animal trap and discuss the kind of bait that is used. Divide the children into groups, giving each group one of the following topics: tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and harmful drugs. Have them answer the following questions, and report to the larger group: How is this a trap? What bait is used? How can we protect ourselves from this trap?
Have the younger children make a booklet entitled “I Can Be Reverent by Showing Respect, Honor, and Love for Myself.” Pages to be illustrated by the children could include: “Something I Like About Myself,” “Something I Do Well,” “Something Other People Like About Me,” “My Favorite Place to Be,” and “Something I Am Learning to Do.”
Divide the older children into groups of six or eight. Have each group sit in a circle, then have each child in the circle respond to a statement in Idea 4. Close by singing “I Am a Child of God,” (Children’s Songbook, page 2).
Tell the story of Joseph Smith’s revelation. (See Sharing Time, page 44.) Then teach the song “The Word of Wisdom” (Children’s Songbook, page 154). Ask each child to draw at least one illustration about the song and, as the group sings it, hold up his illustration(s) at the appropriate times.